My time to move on

Back in 2000, after Susan Luce offered me a job at The News & Observer, I literally jumped up and down.

I was proud to work there.

But this month I took a buyout.

You might have seen the farewell page (PDF) we made for ourselves, posted by Romenesko. And kind words from Buregetta Wheeler.

The decimation of good newspapers is a shame.

I wish everyone well — journalists and our colleagues in other parts of the papers, those who have left and those who carry on.

Fellow McClatchy employees (current and former), I invite you to an alumni group at Linked In.

I will probably move to Albuquerque, to spend more time with my father.

Published in: on April 30, 2009 at 1:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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Findings: mixing it up for mental stimulation

On my computer monitor at work is a saying from a fortune cookie: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”

 But sometimes it’s hard to imagine doing something else. I don’t mean just “I am fill-in-the-blank-occupation and this is what I’ll always do.” I don’t mean just work, and I don’t mean deliberate resistance.

I mean that it can be difficult to perceive or to think in a different way from what we as individuals normally do.

And that can be a drawback, because grooves can become ruts.

My friend Anna Haynes pointed me to a New York Times article by Janet Rae-Cupree, who says, “it becomes nearly impossible to look beyond what you know and think outside the box you’ve built around yourself.”

This is called the curse of knowledge. Some examples are: “It’s why engineers design products ultimately useful only to other engineers. It’s why managers have trouble convincing the rank and file to adopt new processes. And it’s why the advertising world struggles to convey commercial messages to consumers.”

I think it’s good for people in general and journalists in particular to do things we don’t ordinarily do, to travel outside our comfort zone, in order to broaden our exposure and stretch ourselves.

I acknowledge that I should get out more, but there are many ways to poke outside your natural self. My paper, The News & Observer, requires that all journalists have some training outside their own field every year.

But we can step outside ourselves by doing something as simple as randomly changing the radio station and listening to whatever pops up. Or for the 21st century, we can do it with random web pages.

Published in: on January 2, 2008 at 2:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Book report: ‘The Innovator’s Solution’

This is my homework for my “Saving Journalism” class.

       The Innovator’s Solution” explains how grooves become ruts – and how to climb out of the holes.


Published in: on October 23, 2007 at 9:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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